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Laura Sankary treats a Meissen porcelain plate during the Fall of 2020 in a ceramics conservation internship at the University of Delaware. (Image: Madeline Hagerman, University of Delaware).
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Olivia Jaeger (UD 2020) had the opportunity to participate in the WUDPAC Photograph Conservation Block to gain in-depth insight into the history and conservation of photographs alongside master’s students (Image credit: Evan Krape, University of Delaware).
It may seem daunting to look at post-graduation plans at the beginning of your undergraduate career, but it is essential to prepare for highly competitive graduate art conservation programs, if that is the path you choose. An undergraduate degree in art conservation gives you the qualifications to work as a conservation technician or in a collections care position. However, a graduate degree is necessary to become a practicing conservator. There are programs all over the world, but only five in the United States. Programs in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia generally require fewer specific preprequisites and internship hours than those in the US, but are no less rigorous.
Interdisciplinarity is an advantage!
There are many options for graduates of the undergraduate art conservation program beyond art conservation grad school. 45-50% of our graduates choose to pursue graduate studies in art conservation while 25% are in related fields such as museum collection management, museum education, historic preservation, or library sciences. The remaining 30% use the interdisciplinary skills gained from an ARTC major to pursue careers outside of museums: law, software development, business, or teaching.